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Online Money, how to use it and what it means!
By Doc Johnson

(Posted 07 Sept 2002)

So you've decided to gamble online. You've made an informed decision concerning which casino you wish to gamble in based on the casino reviews found on certain gambling mag sites, you've even decided which game to play. That leaves only one question... How are you going to pay? Disregarding the traditional method involving your credit card number, which lately may be quite problematic, depending on which credit card company you do business with, you have quite a few viable options, including Bidpay, MoneyZap, C2it, and of course Paypal.

If you need to make any form of international money transfer, (not exclusively one to your casino), then any of the electronic online money transfer companies mentioned above can help, as with all of them you are able to wire money over the Internet from your computer. However, there are some key differences that it would be important to know before making a decision.

Bidpay and MoneyZap:

Both of these are owned and operated by Western Union.

U.S. domestic service: $15*. International service: $68*. Both send money online and receive cash at an agent's location. The transit time to the agent is not specified on the web site, although it is supposedly on the same day. Check it directly with the agent if you are considering this alternative.

 C2it by Citibank

It is important to point out early that only US residents can send money with C2it. However, a point in its favor: US domestic service: FREE. Send and receive money online. Although they barely mention this free service, preferring to advertise their international service fee, domestic service is in fact available and is in fact free. International service: $15 flat fee. Available to more than 120 countries. Send money online - receive direct deposit to a bank account on the same or next business day. There is also an option of an international check by postal mail at a $10 flat fee.

PayPal

US domestic service: $3.20*. International service: $40.80*. Available in 38 countries: in 5 of them - sending only; in 16 countries - sending and receiving at PayPal, but transfers to local banks are not allowed; in 17 countries - full service. Before making your decision, make sure that the service is available in the country of your chosen casino. Both send money online and receive at a PayPal account, then request a check by postal mail or, in the US and some other countries, order a transfer to a local bank account. There is a $1.50 flat fee for the transfer to a non-U.S. bank where such a withdrawal is possible.

* The prices are comparative - they are based on money transfers paid with a credit card: $100 to anywhere in the US, and, for the international service, $1,000 from the US to the U.K.

Having taken this information into account, also consider that Paypal is facing quite a bit of legal trouble. A class action suit was filed in February over customer service and frozen assets, which complaints are rather commonly voiced, all over the net. It is mentioned in their Terms of

Use that: "PayPal will pool your funds together with funds from other Users, and will place those funds in accounts at one or more FDIC-insured banks ("Pooled Accounts"). You agree that any earnings on the Pooled Accounts will be the property of PayPal, and you will not receive interest or other earnings on the funds that PayPal handles as your agent." It has in fact been speculated that perhaps Paypal, in an effort to make more money off more interest, has developed a tendency to freeze accounts for reasons other than safety. Of course this is all speculation.

The flipside of this particular coin, however, is that in 2001 PayPal facilitated more than $3.5 billion in payments, generating more than $100 million in revenue. It is just more than two years old and sees huge potential to expand on its 13 million customers. Well, you know how they say that if everyone says so, then there must be some truth to it... They must be doing something right!

Whatever your decision, make it an informed one, because it is one of the most important you will make regarding online gambling. Until, of course, it becomes time to choose the method in which you want to receive your winnings. But don't worry; somehow, that decision is always easier.

Written by Doc Johnson, to read more columns please visit http://www.thegamblingway.com

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